They said it was one of the best, most honest and impassioned speeches they had ever heard, and shortly after it the team went out on the field and was able to end a two-game losing streak at a moment when the season seemed to be slipping away.
Was this Sunday when Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck rallied the team during halftime? Nope. This was before the game against the Bears in Week 4 when Jesse Armstead addressed the team. The Giants came out with fire, sacked Jay Cutler enough times to knock him out of the game, and went on to win five games in a row.
The Giants’ defensive players often talk about the knowledge of how good they can be but the frustration of not always playing at that level. And they’ve certainly shown that they will respond to rousing oratory, whether it be from teammates like Umenyiora or Tuck, or former players like Armstead. But is it of any concern that the Giants seem to need these speeches in order to deliver and play up to their potential?
“No,” linebacker Michael Boley said. “I think something like that is needed.”
Boley said what went down in the halftime locker room on Sunday had an effect on the team because the words of Umenyiora and Tuck got the players’ attention.
“It lets you know where they’re coming from in a sense,” Boley said. “When those guys speak, they speak from the heart. It’s not something that we take lightly. When one of your peers steps up and tells you what he sees from us that we’re not doing, what we could be doing better, guys take heed to that.”
Armstead’s words launched a five-game winning streak. Will this halftime presentation linger beyond the final 30 minutes of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars?
“We hope so,” Boley said. “We hope that we don’t need a speech to get us going. Obviously we hope we can keep things on the right track and not need someone to step up and say something just to get us going.”